At Bill's place in TN, Chuckie and his band of drunks have just returned to David's place. As they expected, David is the soft touch. So, David walks along, and the drunks get back into the truck. They go along the road to the house. Chuckie realized this was time to go from hard to soft. So, he smiled again, and asked how the generator was working out. Fine, and doing just great. Plays DVD and television just fine.
Chuckie realized that this was also the time to ask about liquor, and guns. No sense in having to search the entire house, if David would cheerfully tell him where the stash was. As they got to the house, Chuckie offered David a drink. But, then, pulled out an empty bottle. David replied politely that he knew where Bill kept the stash, and why don't you boys come in for a drink? Just exactly what Chuckie had planned.
David didn't have many friends. He had been the outcast in school, so this was a rare treat for him, having someone come and visit the house. David was feeling very appreciated, at this moment. The shouting matches he'd been having with Bill weren't doing anyone any good. Bill wanted him to do more work around the house, and wanted him to be more careful with the security information.
Drink wasn't totally what Faith was thinking. Though, she really should have, after nearly dying of dehydration the last time she tried to get from her place to Gomer's compound. aith was always the popular one, she had never lacked for friends. Faith could throw a party that had the town talking for months. She'd get the latest music from the record club, a couple bottles of booze, and some soft lighting. Invite everyone she knew from work, and sometimes she'd invite guys she met at the store. But at the moment, party wasn't on her mind. Faith stormed around the bedroom, and ordered her two kids to dress. The girls got out of bed slowly. They knew they were leaving, and they were very sad. But, there was no use reasoning with Mommy Dearest when she was in one of her moods. Just like Joan Crawford. But, by dragging their feet, they could stay for at least another minute.
The mood wasn't all that great at the family conference. Sam was showing a different side of his personality. Sam, the quiet one. Sam was well suited to a job as a long haul driver. Not much contact with other people. Get the rig out on the open road, set a steady speed, and just watch the miles go by. Sam had been thinking back over his life. It isn't enough, sometimes, to just live a good life. Once in a while, in the history of the nation, they need to defend freedom by force. Sam isn't totally sure what was the next step, but knew that sitting at home with a guard wasn't going to help save the nation. It was different, a generation ago. It used to be that the nation was secure, and that we could trust that most of the folks in town were Americans. No longer, the nation was about half Americans, and half foreigners up to no good.
Sam opened up the conversation. Asked if anyone knew what the heck was going on around the nation. The conversation was a confusion for a few seconds. The family had been listening to the shortwave radio. More continued calls for calm, and not a lot of news. The overseas radio stations such as BBC had a lot more information than Voice of America, for example. The BBC was reporting that the Muslim Riots had taken much the same form as the riots the year before in England. The Muslims had destroyed much of the infrastructure of England, and then had demanded full recognition of their religious law. Even to the point of being exempt from the laws of England. Up to and including treason, and murder. Much the same demands were being made in the USA. The President was calling for calm, and for more time to research the legality of this.
Chris and Gomer had both been active on the amateur radio bands, and Chris's grandfather had been a Ham radio operator, and it was a tradition handed down. Chris had been listening also to the shortwave bands. But his experience in overseas radio had brought different information to light, than the other folks. Chris had his two meter walkie talkie with him. Chris suggested to see if anyone was on the two meter band, and see if the hams had any better idea. Chris found a ham station that was active. Introduced himself, and asked for news. From what the other radio operator was saying, most of the power grid and fuel supplies of the USA had been crippled. Looked like it was going to be a few years to rebuild. And in the meantime, the Muslims were demanding immunity from prosecution.
"Immunity!" Sam thundered. "I'll give their asses immunity!". About that time, the baby woke up and started crying.
Gomer, meanwhile, was wondering if he could get anyone on the military band radio he carried in his knapsack.
Chuckie's band walked into Bill's house, following David. When they went in, David introduced them to Connie "these are my friends, who traded me the generator". Connie turned pale, she could feel the evil. Chuckie smiled, though his smile didn't quite reach the corners of his eyes. His eyes were pure evil. The other men were busy looking around the living room. David went straight to the liquor cabinet, and got out a bottle of 12 year old Scotch. He turned to Chuckie, and offered him a drink. Chuckie said sure, and and took the glass and the bottle David had offered. At that moment, one of the guys with Chuckie came from behind Chuckie, and pushed David. David looked confused, these were his friends, right?
David started to ask what they wanted, when the thug hit him again. This time, solid to the chin. David fell over, backwards. Looked up from the floor, and found himself surrounded by three big three tall guys. Connie had fled the room, taking the kids with her. "Where the booze at, sucker!" one asked. David pointed to the cabinet where he'd just got the scotch. "where the guns at, sucker!" another asked. David pointed to the hall to the back bedroom. One of the men went to the back bedroom. A couple minutes later, came out with the rimfire rifle that David knew was in the closet. "any other guns?" and David shook his head, no. "Good boy." the man said.
David was pausing for a moment to think, and nursing his wounds. he found himself with four drunks, pointing guns at him. David was laying on the floor, looking scared.
The drunk standing next to Chuckie racked the slide on the AR-15 he was holding, and fired four or five shots. David was struck dumb, he wasn't expecting to be shot with his own rifle, at his own house. Surprise was the last thing on his mind, as his blood pressure dropped, and grey covered his vision from the sides, closing in to the middle.
With no formal training, just by instinct. Connie took the two kids into the cellar bedroom closet, and closed the door. She had both of them sit on the floor of the closet. Connie talked quietly to them, and tried to reassure them that everything would be all right.
Gomer had enough of being treated like the low man on the totem. After years of military command, he was ready to kick some ass. Gomer stood, and adressed the room. He brought himself to his full height, and assumed the posture of a commander adressing troops. "Gentlemen, the time has come to take action. Will we defend the great nation of our, against all enemies, foreign and domestic? I say yea. We must not tolerate this great injustice any more."
Gomer then sat down, and the discussion resumed. But, what to do? How to know who were the enemy, who committed this internal attack against the United States? And, what to do about it? There were so many other things that needed to be done. Sam had a couple weeks food in the house. Chris's trailer might be standing. Or might not. Gomer's truck had gone up in flames. Bill and David's place in TN was looking like an even better destination, now that the winter weather was starting for real. Except, that Sam and Gomer didn't know that Bill's position had changed so much. Not that Faith's position was about to change so much.
Faith's girls had put a few items in each suitcase. There was no way to know if that was everything, and truly Faith didn't care. She dragged both crying girls down the stairs, and out the back door of the shelter. There was the mini van, right where she left it. Faith dragged the girls and the suitcases to the side door of the mini van, and ordered them in. Put your seat belts on, and no complaining. She got in, turned the key, and the engine fired right to life. Pulled the headlights, and turned on the high beams. Shift in drive, floor the pedal. She zoomed down the driveway. The electrically operated gate slowly clanked and chattered, and opened for her to exit. When the electric gate was about halfway open, she floored the pedal of the mini van, and blew through the opening. the end of the gate scraped the paint on the sliding side door, sounding some thing between a teakettle, and a dental drill. The girls put their fingers in their ears, and closed their eyes.
Rounding the end of the driveway at about 30 miles an hour, Faith stomped the gas to the floor. With the streets wide open, she was soon going about 70 MPH along route five.
And at that moment, no one in the survival team knew much about what was happening with the others. Each one was making plans, based on the other ones being there. But, no one was quite where or who or what was supposed to be.